Subject: Re: [NYCGA Internet] Site Technology assessment
From: sam@monkeytownhq.com
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 10:47:21 -0400
To: internet_working_group@googlegroups.com

hi all -

I've managed development for large corporate websites, and networks of websites, in both Drupal and Wordpress.

In my experience, both can get you 80% of the functionality you want right out of the gate, allowing you to rapidly develop a site and start engaging your audience.

With either platform, you have the ability to tweak and customize and do original coding to try to get that remaining 20% just right. However in my experience this is a slippery slope that puts you on a path where committing valuable resources to achieving your vision can rob resources from other useful work - and do so on an ongoing basis.  Debugging and maintaining all of your original work becomes an ongoing commitment, and dependencies are created on keeping the developers who contributed original code on tap to deal with situations as they arise.  The more custom work you do, upgrades to the base platform become much more complicated and time-consuming.

So although we have the ability to customize, and have developers in the movement with the skills to customize, it may not be a good spend of volunteer efforts to do so. imho, it can often be a better route to pick a platform that covers most of what you want to do, and then shape your operations around the dna of the application, rather than fighting against it where it is perceived to fall short.

- Sam



Quoting Chaz <ccheadle@gmail.com>:

   I would like to propose a serious consideration of Drupal for the
website. I know that WordPress has been used to start the site. If we
expect this site to grow in size and functionality we should consider
the increased needs for features and content types. In my opinion
WordPress is a very powerful blogging platform but I think our needs
will outpace its capability in terms of required content types and
features. Drupal, like WordPress is opensource with a huge developer
network but also has a very strong enterprise level architecture and
is used by extremely large and high-traffic websites. I believe
Drupal's module system is more mature with a great focus on
customization and security.

   As I think our site is and should be more than a blogging platform
we should consider a highly developed CMS system to meet our future
needs. Since we still seem to be in an early development stage of our
new website I strongly urge a discussion and a needs assessment of the
website in terms of technology and future expansion.

Some of the needs addressed extremely well by Drupal*:
-Menu systems (programmable)
-Forms API (programmable API for creating and processing simple/
complex forms (voting,surveys,creating custom interfaces for
administrators, content data entry etc.)
-Taxonomy driven content processing (manage and process content based
on vocabulary/hierarchy)
-Module support for other FLO technologies such as OpenLayers
-Security and Access Control (Core level security and access control
system for content and administration)
Internationalization (multilingual support for menus and site content)
Calender/Events system (integrate date driven events/calenders/email-
list notifications into any content type)
-Solid integration with Varnish/Pressflow (site caching for quicker
page delivery for high traffic sites)
-Views (custom content processing and display for any content type,
display/customize content based on configurable filters- login,
location, date, etc.)
-CCK (create any content types beyond blogs/posts such as; bios,
rotating articles, document library, company profiles, maps, featured
events, etc etc etc.)
-Multisite (ability to host multiple subdomains/sites with shared or
separate user databases, partially or completely separate  subsections
for groups if desired)
Themes (global and user preference based site themes
Content publishing/unpublishing on any desired schedule (repeated, one
time etc)

   Drupal, like WordPress relies on the addition of modules or plugins
to add features to a site; niether one will serve our needs right out
of the box. I have had a hard time finding equivalent plugins for some
of these features in WordPress which is why I would like to ask for an
evaluation.

   I would be willing to begin and share development lead on this if
we feel Drupal is more appropriate solution for this website's
architectural needs. Just like a WordPress version of this site we
should have designers, content authors and developers working
together. We should also keep the architecture/management of any site
100% transparent so anyone looking for information on the content
posting process or the technology behind it.

* Disclaimer: I am a Drupal developer. I create and maintain Drupal
modules for site administration and content publishing for a large,
multisite Drupal installation- so I am much more familiar with its
architecture than with WordPress'.

I would not like to start an argument, but rather open a dialogue for
an evaluation of the movement's web technology needs.

Thanks for reading.

chaz





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